Ph.D. Admission Requirements

Please note that the deadlines for our graduate programs are much earlier than the McGill default deadlines. You must submit your application within our Application Deadlines.

The requirements in this section must be satisfied in order to be considered for admission. However, it must be stressed that satisfaction of these requirements does not guarantee admission; the number of graduate students accepted is limited and only the strongest applicants can be accepted. Read this section carefully before downloading the application forms.

In order to apply to the Ph.D. program, normally applicants should hold an M.Sc. degree in Computer Science or a closely related area, from a well-recognized university. Students who hold a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science but have an exceptionally strong academic record may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program, but they must initially apply to the M.Sc. Program. Students who are in the M.Sc. program have the option to be fast-tracked into the Ph.D. program at the end of their first academic year, contingent on excellent performance as judged by the Ph.D. committee.

Each application is considered on its individual merits. We wish to see strong evidence that there is a potential for independent, high-calibre research. It is crucial that in your statement of purpose you provide a clear, detailed and original argument for why you have chosen particular areas of research to pursue. Your application will be reviewed by a subset of specialists in these areas, taken from your list of proposed supervisors. You must convince them that you have given careful thought to these research fields. Other considerations in the admission process are whether we can provide adequate supervision for your research and whether we can provide financial support. It is quite possible that you possess sufficient academic ability to complete a Ph.D., but we must refuse you because of these considerations.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are not required to take the Graduate Record Examinations. However, we strongly suggest that applicants who obtained their degrees outside Canada take the GRE general test as it will be very helpful to the Ph.D. Committee in the evaluation process. Request the Educational Resting Service to report their scores directly to McGill University (ETS code 0935).

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International students who have not received their instruction in English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 100 (internet-based test) OR the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band of 6.5 before admission. Results must be forwarded by the testing agency to McGill University (code 0935).


If you feel you meet our admission requirements please go to the Application Documents page. Please consider our Application Deadlines .

If you do not have the background described, please do not apply. We do not offer any qualifying program for students with weak Computer Science backgrounds. If you wish, you can take equivalent courses to obtain the required background and then apply.


For any specific questions, see contact information here.